Self-Compassion Is A Fad, And Other Myths
The idea of self-compassion is still a pretty foreign concept to many people. Ok, most people.
Not too long ago, in our parents’ day, there was this mindset that life was hard, very hard, and so you just sucked it up and got on with it. Period. End of story. Men worked day and night, women tended to the family and home, AND worked.
Life was a grind. It was relentless, from sun up to the sun setting. And they did this day in and day out with little to no time for themselves. Sounds fun. (No, not really.)
Myth Number One: Self-compassion is a Fad
In an era of content overload, where we’re made aware of a million things every day that we really don’t need to know, it seems self-awareness is in diminishing supply. But one thing that has never been truer is that humanity is more evolved, and there’s a growing number of people around the world who want to make a difference in people’s lives.
People are committed to improving their lives to be a greater blessing to the lives of others.
But an emerging myth on compassion is that self-compassion is a fad. That’s not the case. Studies in psychology and personal development are beginning to reveal the long-term benefits of self-compassion.
Here are the two most important benefits of self-compassion:
- Showing compassion to ourselves helps us feel better, work better, serve better.
- Showing compassion to ourselves in daily life helps remove the burden of expecting others to sooth our wounds and show us sympathy.
Myth Number Two: Self-compassion is Selfish
Just because self-compassion feels selfish, does it mean that it actually IS selfish?
When we do things for ourselves, we bring joy to ourselves and demonstrate that we care about our life – that our life matters to us.
People who feel and believe that their life doesn’t matter tend to live that way.
If you were to stop and journal how often you’re harsh on yourself throughout the day, you would be surprised!
When we choose to begin developing the habit of practicing self-compassion, we start experiencing many benefits, including:
- A more hopeful, optimistic outlook
- Fewer regrets, less irritation and resentment, and greater joy
- You develop a more pleasing disposition and are more pleasant to be around
- You become a role model for others
- You become happier, more empathic, and enjoy healthier well-being overall.
And when we take charge of soothing, nurturing, and healing ourselves, we engage in less sympathy-seeking behavior, which is the kind of behavior that typically damages relationships and repels people over time.
We all need people in our lives that love and support us. But when life gets tough, self-compassion is a learned skill to help cope with the unexpected, unwanted stuff that life throws at us.
Self-compassion helps silence the inner critic so we’re able to enjoy a happier, healthier life and be a more caring and supportive partner and friend in the process.
Myth Number Three: Self-Compassion is only for the Spiritually-minded
Self-compassion really isn’t about feeding one’s spiritual ego. Everyone can practice self-compassion regardless of faith orientation. The bottom line is that self-compassion is practical and produces results.
Imagine being in a meeting or participating in a project and something goes sideways (as things often do). Taking the time, energy, and, most importantly, focusing on yourself and being there for others to find solutions changes the course and spirit of the project, which creates a better outcome.
Additionally, here are some helpful, supportive questions that improve your life and make you feel better when either the inner critic or someone else starts rattling your cage:
Is the feedback helpful?
Is the criticism real or imagined?
How can I learn and grow from this?
How can I use this feedback to pivot and make a better decision?
As you can see, self-compassion is a habit that encourages, affirms, and supports ourselves and others. It seeks to understand, show empathy, and lend a helping hand. Lastly, it aims to see the best in others, or at least understand what they’re going through and why, and offers ways to encourage people onward and upward so they can have a better life.
Start adding more self-compassion to your life today to be happier, healthier, and to have more to offer others. Ignite the gift of self-compassion within you to make the world a brighter place, not just for you but for all of us.